In Flight: “The Far Voyage” (my first poem)

frost on a window

Ocean Waves and Mountains

I remember our first poetry-writing assignment; it was in fifth grade, the same year we took the Iowa Basic Skills test in our elementary school. I discovered a paper copy in a stack of papers tucked away in a filing cabinet. Our town librarian, when she discovered that I liked science fiction novels, made sure that I got a look at every one that came into our village library. The Stars Are Ours had quite an impact on me. There was a sequel by Andre Norton in my future, and I enjoyed that book, too.

“The Far Voyage”
By Elizabeth “Lizl” Bennefeld

Inspired by Andre Norton’s The Stars Are Ours (1954)

At rest at last upon a foreign soil
that never knew the step of man before.
beneath the rocket’s fins,
red sand and rock stretch forth
to undergird bright, glistening azure seas.

Beyond their landing place,
up gentle, rolling hills,
far travelers, lost refugees
from Earth’s perpetual wars,
survey vast, untouched fields of grain,
their purple tassels swaying in a breeze
that also brushes golden fruit,
which hangs, sun ripened,
from the bordering trees.

A welcome haven, this new world,
to shelter those who fled in fear
before the waves of senseless hate
for all that’s different,
those who would not bow
to serve untruth or cruelty.

With gathered driftwood,
fires are lit beside a newfound sea,
to warm the bodies and the hearts
of those who now are free.

And as the night descends,
moons race across the sky.
And, one by one, new stars appear
in constellations that will light
new nights, new hopes, new dreams.

Before their weary eyes,
new shapes they seem to see-
a lamb, a dove, an olive-sprig wreath,
all signs of eternal peace.

Are they the promise of a new beginning,
or just a cruel mockery?

My first poem, written in fifth grade (~1956).

Posted in Personal, Retrospective | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

No Favors (From my archives)

a brown, curled willow leaf resting on the edge of a paw print in the snow


“No Favors”
a prose poem

We did him no favors, keeping him alive beyond his time. All alone, now, safe from any germ or poison or dirt or grass or fresh, cold air and sun of an autumn morning, rays of light that caress, not treetops, now, but barren ground. It would be a kindness if keepers let him sleep one last time and let him never wake again. Or join him in that cage of glass that keeps him far away and yet so near to gentle touches, fingers running through his fur. Whisper sweet words of not-aloneness in his ear. The last animal on Earth that is not human lies dying. Do not let him die alone.

Copyright © February 2015, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.

Posted in Personal, Poetry, Retrospective | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nighttime Reassurance (From my archives)

misc. notebooks, pen, books

Nighttime Reassurance

I will not be remembered
no one will know my face
or hear echoes of my voice
my words will not live on

and so, with every gesture
written words of mine, read,
full of fun or joy or love

my legacy will be reflected
in the here and now
gently leading, pushing
guiding those who will

in turn go on to shape
tomorrows that I will not see
nor they, who will themselves
become the ripples in the stream

Copyright © 2018-08-29, by Lizl Bennefeld.

Note to myself: Do not become self-absorbed or overreaching, or lose touch with realities. Track the priorities.

Posted in Personal, Poetry, Retrospective | Tagged , | Leave a comment